Molecular and Translational Nanomedicine

graphic of proteins

The molecular and translational nanomedicine (MTN) track is designed for students who are interested in molecular design of nanomedicine platforms to help translate basic biological science to clinical medicine. Faculty members in the MTN track are from a diverse scientific, engineering, and clinical background to offer a highly interdisciplinary training environment. Molecular design and nano engineering will be closely integrated with pathophysiology and biology rationales to establish emerging precision paradigms for disease diagnosis and therapy. MTN is ideally suited for students with strong engineering, physical science, or biology background and a keen desire to cross the boundaries between traditional scientific disciplines.

Selected research topics include:

  • Nano delineation of tumor boundaries for image-guided cancer surgery
  • Minimalist nanovaccine for immunotherapy
  • Theranostic nanomedicine integrating imaging and therapeutic delivery targeting diabetes or cancer
  • Cancer-targeted siRNA/miRNA delivery and therapy 


Ian Corbin, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Molecular imaging techniques and nanomedicine technology development to better understand and characterize liver disease

Jinming Gao, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Activatable optical/MRI imaging probes to study tumor metabolism and theranostic nanomedicine for cancer-targeted drug therapy

Wen-Hong Li, Ph.D. 
Research Interests: Engineering probes and assays for monitoring islet beta cell mass or function in vivo; Physiological regulation of hormone secretion in pancreatic islets; Functional analysis of microRNA

Jacques Lux, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Bioresponsive nanomaterials for In vivo detection and therapy; targeted and activatable ultrasound (US) agents for the detection of inflammation and cancer

Ralph P. Mason, Ph.D., C.Sci., C.Chem.
Research Interests: Tumor pathophysiology and MR assessment of prognostic biomarkers/hypoxia and pH

Dean Sherry, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Responsive MRI contrast agents, targeted MR and PET agents, carbon-13 tracers of metabolism, high-field magnetic resonance spectroscopy in vivo

Xiankai Sun, Ph.D.
Research Interests:
Development of PET, SPECT, and MRI imaging probes to assess biological abnormalities and evaluation of disease treatment

Associate Faculty

Jeffrey Cadeddu, M.D.
Research Interests: Urology; laparoscopy, telesurgical mentoring

Zoltan Kovacs, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Generation and application of hyperpolarized 13C-Iabeled compounds and 89Y-complexes for MRI/Radiopharmaceutical applications

Baran Sumer, M.D.
Research Interests: Clinical application of nanoprobes with unique nanoscale behavior